The Trade-Offs Of Web Development

Most decisions come with some kind of trade-off. If you choose to move out of the city, you’ll have to make peace with a longer commute. If you decide to move downtown, you’ll likely have to get accustomed to a noisier environment. We’re often quite comfortable analyzing the trade-offs. In fact, trade-offs often play a big role in how we make decisions. After examining each potential outcome, we can pick the scenario that suits us best.

It’s no different with web development. Overall, there’s a lot of flexibility to each project. But they all come with trade-offs. When it comes to web development projects, there are three main scenarios.

The Trade-Off Trifecta

As you begin your project, you can expect one of three scenarios. The first tends to be the most common: developing a high-quality site with a fast timeline. Your developer can accomplish this, of course. But, in this case, the trade-off is cost. To develop a high-quality site quickly, it will cost more. It’s similar to putting in a rush order, or paying for premium service. If you want priority placed on your project, it adds to the cost.

Of course, cost can often play a role in decision-making. And there are ways to lower the cost. If you’re looking to lower cost, there are two possible trade-offs: quality and time. Quickly developing a site at a low cost will impact the site’s quality. In this case, your developer won’t be able to use the most effective tools and processes, because they must account for time. Again, it’s possible. But it will change things.

Think of it like purchasing a car. If you have a budget that will safely get you a sensible Honda, you’re not likely to show up at a BMW dealership and ask for their best model. It’s the same with quickly developing a site on a tighter budget. You’ll get a functional website with aesthetic appeal, but it won’t have the same bells and whistles that a high-budget site does.

Finally, there’s the option to develop a site of high quality at a lower cost. You may have guessed it already – the trade-off here is time. Going back to our car analogy, this is similar to restoring a classic vehicle on a budget. As time passes, you’ll continue to add to the car, piece by piece. But budget dictates how much you can accomplish at a time. You’ll complete the car eventually, but the project may not move as quickly as you had originally expected.

Choosing Your Trade-Off

In reality, there’s no wrong choice among these three scenarios. It all depends on what makes you most comfortable. So, before you get elbows-deep into a development project, take the time to think about which trade-offs you’re okay with. It’ll likely save you time and/or money in the future.